Innovation procurement can deliver solutions to challenges of public interest and ICTs can play a major role in this.

Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI) is used when challenges can be addressed by innovative solutions that are nearly or already in small quantity in the market and don't need new Research & Development (R&D).

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) can be used when there are no near-to-the-market solutions yet and new R&D is needed. PCP can then compare the pros and cons of alternative competing solutions approaches. This will in turn enable to de-risk the most promising innovations step-by-step via solution design, prototyping, development and first product testing.

By developing a forward-looking innovation procurement strategy that uses PCP and PPI in a complementary way, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. This enables the public sector to modernize public services faster while creating opportunities for companies in Europe to gain leadership in new markets. Currently however, compared to other parts of the world, PCP and PPI are underutilized in Europe. For more information on how to square this circle, see the FAQ list on PCP & PPI. To balance better supply and demand side innovation policies, the European Commission is taking several actions:

1. Better policy framework

Overview of EU policy initiatives on PCP and PPI in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Digital Agenda for Europe targets to increase the use of PCP and PPI by 2020.

Overview of on-going national and regional PCP and PPI initiatives across Europe.

2. EU co-financing

Horizon 2020 reinforces the co-financing for public procurers around Europe that address common challenges by undertaking PCPs or PPIs jointly. New synergies between Horizon 2020 and the Structural Funds (ESIF) are also possible from 2014 onwards for co-financing PCP and PPI projects.

Overview of the Horizon 2020 funding opportunities in support of PCP and PPI and the link with ESIF

Examples and results of on-going PCP and PPI projects funded by the EU's research and innovation funding programs FP7, CIP and Horizon 2020

3. Networking - Experience sharing - Training

Innovation procurement events - Meet us and others around Europe active on innovation procurement

Helpdesk, training and local assistance on innovation procurement.

Subscribe to the DG CONNECT Innovation Procurement newsletter - Keep up to date on the latest news and EU funding opportunities for PCP/PPI. Visit the post 2014 newsletter repository and the pre-2014 newsletter repository for past editions.

Join the Procurement Forum and the linkedin group on public procurement and innovation to share your opinion and network with other procurers and stakeholders.


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Thursday, 20 November, 2014
Last update: 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017